Traveling on a Budget for Broke College Students

Traveling is an enriching experience, which can help you grow and experience new cultures and sites. My gap year traveling was one of the best of my life, and I learned and grew so much. I now take any opportunity I can to travel. However traveling, as amazing as it is, is expensive. There are flights, hotels and excursion fees. Many people want to travel, but their biggest issue is spending/not being able to afford trips. Whether you’re flying across the world or exploring your own country, it is expensive. Thankfully, through traveling and researching I have found some tips that could cut corners when it comes to spending.

My number one rule for when I’m planning a trip is to research and plan ahead. When you buy tickets further in advance, they become cheaper. Also, always use incognito mode when on booking websites. If you go on the same website a few times and the website can see it, it will start increasing the prices of airfare. While planning my trip I also try and create a budget, depending on what I want to do while I’m there, so I don’t overspend or waste money. Also the earlier you book, the more money you can save up! I’ve also heard that Tuesday’s are the cheapest day to fly, so by planning ahead, you can have time to schedule your trip around cheaper times.

When in a country, use cheaper methods of transportation like public transport such as buses and trains, which are less expensive than airfare, but may take longer to reach your next destination. Hostels are cheaper than hotels, also online house rental apps like Airbnb are cheap, however you need to compensate for laundry and food. While some hostels offer complementary foods. Also, you can meet new people and build connections around the globe, you can possibly travel together and may have a place to stay if you ever visit their country!

Pack light! You save money by not checking in baggage and space. Also bring fewer, block clothes that can be easily styled. When I was on my gap year, I volunteered for organizations, and got accommodation and food and in some cases, excursions! Working/volunteering/all-inclusive culture experiences are ways to save money on necessities while abroad.

I have found that avoiding taxis and tourist traps are a good way to save some money. Taxis are expensive, and if the driver realizes you’re a tourist, they can scam you for more money. Touristy areas can be costly, as locals will try to make extra money by luring in unknowing tourists. Going on paths less traveled means, you can get a more authentic experience.

At the end of the day, what is important is knowing what is best for you and your situation, and planning around that. Always try to be flexible and go with an open mind. Happy traveling!